Mandatory Disclosures

FY 2021 Conference Spending Statement

During FY 2022, VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted two conferences in which expenses exceeded $100,000. Below are conference details to include cost, date, location of conference, and other pertinent data.

Conference Title: Office of Audits and Evaluations (OAE) Leadership Meeting Conference Expenses: $183,229.17
Location: San Antonio, Texas Date: May 1–6, 2022
Explanation: The meeting provided OAE senior executive staff, directors, and managers an opportunity to meet in-person to discuss current audit issues, share information, and review OAE and other OIG initiatives. Leadership training was deployed that enabled OAE managers to effectively work together to address and solve organizational issues, as well as earn training hours that satisfied mandatory continuing professional education requirements. This meeting also helped build the team, provided a forum for team members to discuss tools, technologies, processes and how to apply them in OAE to improve information products, workflow, and processes.

It is imperative for OAE senior executive staff, directors, and managers to work in a cooperative spirit, communicate regularly, and share information. This was an in-person event and had not been in-person in over two years due to the pandemic. Teleconferencing was considered but determined not to be a viable alternative as it does not allow the ability to properly network, nor does it promote conversations outside of scheduled sessions. Much of the value of the meeting was through unscheduled and impromptu gatherings. The meeting required input from all participants, as well as included small groups discussions, and interactive training. Having all participants convene to provide input on a wide range of issues and ideas, as well as having small group breakout sessions was not logistically feasible with teleconferencing.

Number of Participants Whose Travel Expenses Were Paid by Agency: 106

Conference Title: Office of Healthcare Inspections (OHI) Hotline Bootcamp Meeting Conference Expenses: $116,742.48
Location: Detroit, Michigan Date: September 19–23, 2022
Explanation: The course provided an overview of fundamentals of OHI hotline inspection work, updates in processes as well as opportunities for innovating processes to improve efficiency and productivity in OHI Hotline. The staff wanted the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues in-person and strengthen professional relationships.

Teleconferencing was considered but determined not to be a viable alternative as it does not allow the ability to properly network, nor does it promote conversations outside of scheduled sessions. Much of the value of the meeting was through unscheduled and impromptu gatherings. The meeting required input from all participants, as well as included small groups discussions, and interactive training. Staff also benefited from the opportunity to build stronger professional relationships by meeting face to face with colleagues not located in the same duty station but with whom they work with due to the matrixing of projects.

Number of Participants Whose Travel Expenses Were Paid by Agency: 77

Peer Reviews

The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) maintains a quality assurance program to ensure that work performed adheres to established professional standards, VA OIG policies and procedures, and is carried out economically, efficiently, and effectively. Also, in accordance with the IG Act and other professional standards, VA OIG's functions are subject to external peer reviews. These peer reviews provide an additional external level of assurance of VA OIG's adherence to prescribed standards, regulations, and legislation through a formal objective assessment of its operations.

The Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) prescribes the methodology for performing peer reviews of the various OIG functions. Below are the latest external peer reviews of VA OIG's Audit, Inspection, and Evaluation functions.